May 12, 2006

Being Begotten

I was struck by the end of today's first reading:

Paul preaches: "We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you that what God promised our fathers he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus, as it is written in the second psalm, You are my Son; this day I have begotten you." (Acts 13:32-33)

I found this piece of Paul's speech interesting because the author uses psalm 2 with reference to the Resurrection. In the later tradition the "this day I have begotten you" is usually interpreted with reference to the eternal generation of the Word of God, the second Person of the Trinity. But here it is not used with reference to the eternal procession of the Son from God the Father, but to the Resurrection of this same Word made flesh in history.

Certainly The Son is not begotten of God in the Resurrection. He had already been incarnate for 30 some years, and had been with God the Father from all eternity. What gives? Who is being begotten here?

Well, it seems to be us. In the Resurrection the whole world is renovated, and, through our baptism, we come to share in the "begottenness" from God that the Word has always enjoyed in the inner life of the Blessed Trinity. The Resurrection is God's ability to say to the whole world, "you are my beloved, and this day I have begotten you."

Today is also the feast of St. Leopold Mandic, a Capuchin Franciscan friar who lived in Europe around the turn of the 20th century, and was known for his great compassion in confession and spiritual direction. Check him out here.

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